When Juno Temple joined the cast of HBO’s Vinyl, she’d previously worked mostly in independent film and hadn’t really considered television. “It was the first time I’ve ever auditioned for TV actually,” Temple says. “I read it and I don’t know, it felt kind of like a rite of passage. I really wanted to fight for the role.” Set in 1970s New York, the show—whose second season was recently pulled by HBO—centers around record exec Richie Finestra (Bobby Cannavale) and his efforts to revive his record label. Temple is Jamie Vine, a driven young A&R woman with a yen for the lead singer of emerging punk band The Nasty Bits (James Jagger’s Kip Stevens).
Created and exec produced by Martin Scorsese and Mick Jagger, Temple says the atmosphere on set wasn’t as intimidating as it sounds, since she was so focused on perfecting her performance. “It never makes me more nervous actually when a certain executive producer or anyone is there,” she says. “The scariest bit is the first take.”
Temple stopped by AwardsLine on her way to audition for Star Wars and told us about working with Scorsese, getting naked with James Jagger and her fabulous ’70s wardrobe.
What really sold the show to you?
I didn’t know anything going in, but I just knew the team of people that were behind it and I’m such a huge fan of HBO too. When you add Martin Scorsese and Mick Jagger behind a project that’s all about 1970s rock and roll, it’s kind of a dream team, and I think also with TV they’re so brave nowadays, I feel like TV is actually taking a lot more risks than a lot of films are. It’s mad how much amazing TV is on. I’ve also always loved the 70s. I’ve loved the music, I’ve loved the wardrobe, I’ve loved just so many things about it. The movements that happened and the changes that happened, especially for women. Everything all came together like this perfect package.
How was auditioning for Scorsese?
It was terrifying. Well first, I went and read for Ellen Lewis, who’s one of my favorite humans ever. She cast me in it and she was so supportive of me and I did a reading with her on tape in New York. Then I got that phone call from my agents, saying, “So Martin Scorsese wants to see you.” It doesn’t get much better than that. Even if you don’t book the part, getting to spend 20 to 45 minutes in a room with him and get directed by him is just huge. Obviously, I was very excited. It took a long time to pick the outfit, which Ellen Lewis also helped with.
What did you wear?
I’ve got a lot of ’70s vintage, I’m a huge vintage junkie. There was this clothing line in the ’70s called Mr. Boots. It’s quite collectable now, and I have this amazing crocheted dress–black crochet, skin tight–but then fan-out sleeves. It’s a mini skirt and it zips all the way up the front with ruffles. I wore it with skin-colored tights with skin-colored fishnets over the top. Then I’ve got an original pair of canary yellow platform mary janes from ’74 or something and I wore big hoops and a big chain-link belt and did glitter eyes with big lashes. I went all out for sure.
Did Scorsese say that he loved it?
He commented on the fact that my belt and my earrings matched.
How was it having Mick Jagger around while you were playing opposite his son James? Was it nerve-wracking?
For me it’s like Jimmy is his own entity, and obviously that’s my relationship with him on the set. I mean it’s different if you go for a family dinner, but I feel like on set, it doesn’t matter who’s around, that’s between me and Jimmy. When the camera’s rolling, and it doesn’t matter who’s around you. It’s literally about you and the person in front of you doing the scene and you don’t want to f— it up. That’s when I get nervous and I really panic because I still get nerves. But I also think if they went away, it means I need to change careers. It means I really care, and I think you can turn nervous energy into such extraordinary kind of electric magnetic creative energy.
What’s been your toughest challenge in this role?
I think the scene with my mom was a tough one, because I’m so close to my family and they’re so encouraging. Also having to try and understand Polish was also really complex; listening to the tapes of her speaking in Polish and trying to remember all those lines. I think the pilot, in general, was kind of nerve-wracking because it was Marty and and on my 25th birthday, I shot a scene where I was full nude having a crazy sex scene with Mick Jagger’s son directed by Martin Scorsese. It was full on. You just go for it. I’m a strong believer in that, too. You’ve read the script. You know what you’re signing up to. When it comes to the day, you’ve just got to go balls to the wall.
What are you working on outside of Vinyl?
I’m about to do an independent film called One Percent More Humidity. It’s about two best friends that are dealing with a major grief over a summer and kind of both get involved with these love affairs that don’t necessarily help them deal with the grief. It’s really beautiful. I’m really excited, there’s a woman called Liz Garcia who’s directing it. So I’m kind of getting ready for that. It’s going to be sticky and sweaty in upstate New York.